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Everton need to stop fielding Neal Maupay as lone striker

Everton need to stop fielding Neal Maupay as lone striker - Everton News

Tony Scott has urged Sean Dyche to not start Neal Maupay up front ever again for Everton.

The Lowdown: Demarai Gray starring in his new role

It was certainly a bizarre decision from the outside looking in as to why Dyche was determined to not start Everton’s top scorer in the Premier League, with Demarai Gray not getting the nod until Dyche’s sixth game in charge.

Since being handed his first start under the current manager against Nottingham Forest two weeks ago, Gray has seemingly made the striker spot his to lose having netted at the City Ground and almost made it two in two against Brentford, only for VAR to rule out his close-range finish.

The fact that Gray is being favoured as the club’s main striker and source of goals shows just how poor Maupay has been for the Toffees with just one goal to his name – and that may see him lose any chance of starting moving forward.

The Latest: Maupay can’t be starting for Everton

Scott has insisted on the All Together Now podcast that he doesn’t want to see Maupay starting for Everton while someone such as Gray is capable of playing through the middle.

He said: “What we now can’t see is Neal Maupay playing up front for Everton on his own. That’s gone, that’s sailed now.

“Demarai Gray is more of an attacking threat. He gets in behind, he’s running on empty at the end because he gives his all.

“When you’ve got a focal point up front that can run the channels and use trickery and who’s giving defenders a bit of a nightmare, I think it just gives everyone a bit of confidence in the team, and in the stands.

“When the ball goes up to Maupay and it’s bouncing back and he’s losing control of the ball, all of a sudden the moans and the groans and the ‘get him off, get him off’, you hear them screaming.

“But with Demarai Gray, you’re looking to get in behind, he can go to the wing, he can drag a centre-half with him, you’ve just got more of an attacking threat up front with Demarai Gray. We’ve seen it against Nottingham Forest, we’ve seen it against Brentford.”

The Verdict: Everton still struggling in the final third

While Everton have started to find their feet a bit more in the final third since Gray was handed the starting spot through the middle with three goals in two games, one of those strikes was from the penalty spot.

Therefore, if Dominic Calvert-Lewin can somehow get back to something near full fitness, it shouldn’t even be a question of who starts through the middle, as it’s his natural position and Gray is doing nothing more than plugging a gap at present.

However, in the meantime, he is certainly a better option than Maupay with Gray being taller in stature and more capable of troubling defenders in the air and a more reliable goalscorer with six strikes this term. This just shows how poor Maupay has been, as he can’t even compete with a natural winger, and the £15m spent on him – as well as his £50,000-per-week wages – have been a huge waste of money.

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